Hang up the uniforms, the Marching 110 has a free weekend

Like other sports organizations, Ohio University’s Marching 110 gets a small2015-10-02 00.24.14 break every now and then during the season. Even though they can be seen rehearsing every day of the week and often times performing over the weekend, sometimes the members of the 110 are lucky enough to get some free time. This coming weekend is their first free one of the semester, so they have their uniforms hanging up and staying in their bags for this Ohio University extended weekend. What do they do with that free time?


  1. Rest: As an organization that practices a few hours a day every single day of the week, those kids need some time to relax. So of course, if they get a weekend that they don’t have to march, they rest.
  2. Study: Sure, that may not be everyone’s idea of what down-time looks like, but with this weekend off and the “reading day” for all OU students, some members of the 110 are indeed cracking open their books. It’s midterm season, and understandably so, it can be difficult to balance schoolwork and marching band. So while some of them might be taking this weekend just to relax, some of them are taking advantage of the time to crack down on some homework.
  3. Watch football: Although this may sound counter-productive, there are indeed 110 members who watch football if they get the time. Usually their Saturdays are filled with watching the Bobcats play, not that watching them isn’t exciting, but then they miss out on a lot of other big-deal college football games. This Saturday, they don’t have to miss out.
  4. Visit home: There are a lot of Bobcats going home for the extended weekend, even some marching Bobcats. This is especially significant for 110 members because they haven’t had a weekend free yet this semester in which they could go home, while other students at OU have. However, this weekend, all Bobcats get the chance to go back to their stomping grounds. Sophomore euphonium player Sarah Strinka said, “I’m spending time with my family and going to the high school football game.” She, like many other 110 marchers, is spending her time this weekend living it up back home.

Even though the Marching 110 won’t be seen out anywhere this weekend, they will be back in action very soon. Next weekend (October 9-11) is homecoming weekend at OU and the Bobcats will face the Redhawks of Miami University that Saturday, October 10, at 2 p.m. at Peden Stadium.

Athens Across town Battle of the Bars

Part of what makes Athens so great is there is so much to do when the sky turns dark. The nightlife scene makes Court Street come alive, with bars lining both sides of the street. There are even bars a little off the trail of Court, and every bar is unique and offers something different.

On a recent evening, I decided to compare two very different bars across town to see just how different tastes can be in Athens. I was also hoping to catch karaoke night at both, but was only successful on one front. And when determining which bars would make the best comparison, it became clear that it couldn’t get much different when it comes to the Smiling Skull Saloon and Red Brick Tavern.

So in the name of good journalism, I trekked out to visit these two bars. I also dragged my best friend along for support and to enjoy what I assumed would be mediocre karaoke.

Before this little experiment, I had never been to the Smiling Skull. Upon entering, I was afraid I wouldn’t fit in. We arrived at 9:15 and the bar was pretty dead, so it was easy to remain low-key and grab a table.

An older couple was running the karaoke table and I couldn’t wait to see who would step up to the microphone. The clientele was mostly middle-aged with a sprinkling of students, so it was going to be an interesting night. First up was a man who, unsurprisingly, sang a country song. He was actually really good.

Skull1A slew of slow karaoke songs followed that started to put me to sleep. But things got interesting when a man decided to give all he had to his performance, including dancing/flinging himself all over the stage. His wild performance gave new life to the night.

A duo of young women sang “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood while their friends videotaped them and cheered along the entire time. Shortly after another duo led the bar in a sing-a-long of “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani.

The best performance of the night was a young woman singing Tina Turner. She was so effortless. My friend and I had been chatting and not really paying attention, but as soon as she started singing we were locked in and focused. What made it even better was that she was casually sipping a beer while singing.

Once The Skull got packed, we decided to make out way over to Red Brick. I was honestly a bit embarrassed I was going there as a senior and for any reason besides Brick Break. But I swallowed my pride and went in. I was surprised to see it so busy (I guess freshmen have to go somewhere) and disappointed to find it wasn’t karaoke night.


I have been to Red Brick for karaoke once before, and I was sad I was missing out on the disaster that it is. None of the people I saw sing here were even close to being a good singer, but they knew that and still made it wildly entertaining. Just picture a bunch of freshmen boys belting out the oldies with the occasional somewhat current song and that is Red Brick karaoke night.

Freshmen are too wild for me and I felt like a grandma this night. Watching a young couple argue right next to me was awkward but I couldn’t look away. People bumped into us and didn’t apologize. My best friend and I exchanged “I’m too old for this” sentiments.

Despite feeling like the oldest gals in the room, we had fun and danced by ourselves in a corner by the bar and people watched. People watching at Red Brick is really something.

These two bars are vastly different, but still offer a good time to their patrons.

Settle it in smash: the rise of E-Sports and video games

Video games are a part of many people’s individual lives. Each week, new, groundbreaking titles come into the market and people flock to the stores to pick up the latest title.

While many people play video games just for fun, the competitive video game scene, also known as E-Sports, is on the rise. Different types of games will bring different forms of competition, one of the most popular genres of competitive gaming are fighting games.

Fighting games give people the sense of a real fight and provide intense head-to-head competition, which is why many aspiring competitive gamers choose to pick up games like Super Smash Bros Melee. Melee has been one of the most popular fighting games since its release in 2001, but the competitive scene continues to grow, not only in size, but skill.

I went to one of the Ohio University Smash Team’s weekly meetings to find out more about this game, and if the future of sports is in video games.


Student Org Screens ‘Obvious Child’

United Campus Ministries located on College Street is showing a free screening of the film, Obvious Child on Saturday at 4 PM. Youth Against Misogyny and Sexism is hosting the event. On their Facebook page, they describe themselves as “a group of young people dedicated to fighting to end misogyny and sexism that plague our society.”

United Campus Ministries: Center for Spiritual Growth and Social Justice is a nonprofit organization that focuses on interfaith and socially progressive values. It is located at 18 N. College Street right across from the Athens Police Department.

With the topic of abortion being a huge debate for people of all faiths and political ideologies in the US,  this film sheds light on what is a very controversial issue that affects us all.

The film stars Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, David Cross, and Gaby Hoffman. Donna (Jenny Slate) is the main character that has a drunken one night stand and finds out she is pregnant. This is an unexpected romantic comedy/drama that focuses on real experiences that happen to women everyday.

Check out the trailer below:

Obvious Child was listed as a New York Times Critic’s Pick and gave a review that said, “..it’s both funny and serious without trying too hard to be either, and by trying above all to be honest.”

The Washington Post movie critic, Ann Hornaday, weighed in stating “The result is a movie that feels risky and forgiving and, despite its traditional rom-com contours, refreshingly new.”

You can find out more about this event on the Facebook page.

The film will be showing at 4 PM at UCM and remember, it’s FREE!


3 competitive sides to OU’s Marching 110

When thinking about college organizations that compete, the marching band isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind, but at OU that’s a little different. The Marching 110 of Ohio University has a long history of performing seemingly unforgettable shows, which makes sense considering they are the “most exciting band in the land.” With the level of talent and attention the 110 gets, competitions in various forms are inevitable. Here are a few glimpses into them.

  1. Between fellow band members: The name Marching 110 is a little deceiving because there actually are 250 members of the band. The “110” comes from how many members are on the field. But in the stands, all 250 members blast their horns and beat their drums. How do they narrow it down to 110? They compete. According to sophomore euphonium player Sarah Strinka, “We have to compete for our spots on the field for each show based on a marching and music score.”  Placing only the best members on the field ensures the band lives up to its reputation.
  2. Marching 110 logoWith other bands: The 110 has a unique style. This puts pressure on them to consistently perform at a high level.  This also presents another way the band competes — the Marching 110 is not the only notable band around. First off there is OSU’s band, and then there are the bands from the other schools in the MAC conference (the conference of OU). For example, at the OU vs. Marshall game a few weeks ago (Saturday, Sept. 12), Marshall’s band came to Athens. There is a little competition there already with two bands playing in the stands, but it escalated when, at halftime, OU and Marshall both performed songs by Bruno Mars. To compete with these other bands, especially Marshall at that game, the 110 sticks to its unique style.
  3. Offseason competing: Marching bands are in action during the fall football season. So what do members do when it’s not marching season? Some join other music groups around campus, some play music on their own, and some join a competitive marching band for the summer. There is something called DCI (Drum Corps International), appropriately called “marching music’s major league.” In a sense, DCI is like a professional marching band. What does this have to do with the 110? There are quite a few members of the 110 who, when they aren’t marching as a Bobcat, are marching professionally over the summer as a member of a DCI group. Drum Corps International is a competition-based league. Corps from around the world travel to a new place almost every week to compete. They do this until they all come together in early August at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN to compete in the DCI World Championships World Class Finals.

The marching 110 may not be the first Bobcat organization that comes to mind when thinking about competition, but they definitely compete. The marching 110 will be in action again at the Jackson Apple Festival in Jackson, Ohio, this Saturday, Sept. 26 and will be back home at Peden Stadium at OU for the homecoming game against the Miami University on Oct. 10.

The marching 110 during halftime of the OU vs. Marshall football game.

OU Students Explore Womanhood in “Elbows Off The Table”

The Ohio University Theater Division is back in action with its first Athens main stage production with the new play “Elbows Off The Table,” which starts at 8 p.m. at the Elizabeth Evans Baker Theater in Kantner Hall, and plays until Sept. 26.

Written and directed by Rebecca VerNooy, “Elbows Off The Table” features a cast comprised of undergraduate student actors. Though they are just students, the actors handled the difficult subject matter like professionals.

The movement- and dialogue-driven show tells the story of a young woman from her birth and to womanhood, at times in painful detail. Being a woman, even in modern times, is not easy.

From the time she’s born, the young woman is confronted with the societal pressures of what it means to be female. She is surrounded, literally, with voices shouting at her what to do and how to behave. “Wear a dress!” “Sit up straight!” “Be a good girl!” “Elbows off the table!” are just a few of the commands that were hurled at her throughout the play.

One of the most gripping themes of the play is the young woman exploring her sexuality. She is told to be careful. Understandably, she faces confusion about how she feels and how far she is willing to go. She’s pressured on all sides. It’s heartbreaking and sometimes uncomfortable but bravely shows the struggles many girls go through in their adolescent and young adult years.

The biggest problem with the show is that it moves slowly for the first portion. It took a while for the play’s message to sink in. There are times the plot is confusing, but maybe that’s the whole point because life is often confusing.

Supporting student theater productions is important, but can often be overlooked. The price of admission is free with a student ID, so why not enjoy a cost-free night out as well as some great entertainment?

To see the Theater Division’s lineup for the rest of the 2015-2016 season, visit its website.

Why OU students need to see ‘The Hunting Ground’ ASAP

The lights dimmed on the jam-packed Athena Cinema on Court Street. As the chatter from Ohio University students came to complete silence, students were exposed to a video PSA from OU administration members. Administration gave a stern and serious warning that sexual assault on Ohio University campus is taken “very seriously” and will not be tolerated — a message that will soon be mocked in the documentary that follows it.

The mood quickly changed from serious to lighthearted as the documentary began by showing YouTube reactions of individuals across the country finding out they have been accepted to their dream school. Laughter ensued as the students likely reflected on the moment they found out they had been accepted to Ohio University. However, the laughter quickly died down. For the next hour and 45 minutes, the documentary, “The Hunting Ground,” directed by Kirby Dick, shows the dark side to college campus nightlife through tear-jerking testimonials from survivors of sexual assault and morbid statistics of this epidemic that is plaguing college campuses all over the country.

Some of the startling statistics are shown in the film’s trailer below:

The film tells the haunting tales of what is happening to college men and women at a diverse range of campuses in EVERY state. After leaving the film, there is absolutely no denying that sexual assault is happening everywhere. It’s not limited to a specific race, gender or geography.

While some question the validity of the statistics in this documentary, the film brings to light an extremely important issue. “The Hunting Ground” might just be the most important film you and your fellow college acquaintances see all year. It has thrown fuel into a fiery debate going on in our country and has ignited the conversation among students on campuses across the nation. To insure this debate continues on after viewers leave the theater, individuals are urged to keep the discussion going and speak out via social media using the hashtags #TheHuntingGround and #ItsOnUs.

A beautiful ballad used in the film, sung by Lady Gaga and created for the documentary has also taken social media by storm. The music video could be disturbing to some viewers, as it artistically depicts scenes of sexual assault.

The video now almost has almost 10 million views on YouTube, and has been used as platform for viewers to comment about their unique stories to continue the conversation and to make strides toward change in how college campuses educate students and deal with sexual assault cases. Not only is this film important, but this film has caused bonds through social media to remind survivors of sexual assault that they are not alone.

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The Hunting Ground will continue to play at the Athena Cinema through Thursday, September 24, 2015 at Ohio University. Admission is free and showtimes can be found here. The documentary will premiere in theaters in March, but the national conversation should not stop there, and the conversation at Ohio University should not stop Thursday. There is no doubt this film portrays a very real issue happening to America’s youth, and the only way it can be stopped is to continue the conversation, because it is indeed on us.


Passion Works holds first End of Summer Bash to engage community

Passion Works Studio held its first ever End of Summer of Bash last weekend. The event ran from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Festive music played, refreshments were offered while fine arts and select gifts were on sale for buy-one-get-one-half-off. But for the first time, community members could help employees build a paper-mache dragon, a homecoming parade float or draw on white bed sheets.

Cardon Smith | artist | End Of Smummer Bash | Passion Works
Cardon Smith is one of several artists who helped the End of Summer Bash.

“We thought it’d be a cool idea to get the community involved in some of our bigger art projects,” lead production artist and sales rep for the studio Alyssa Cardwell said. “People really look forward to our sales around here, and we thought it’d be good to move the sales up.”

Five artists came on Friday and two came on Saturday to create the works for the Bash. The artists, who have received services from the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities, made the passion flowers with sheeted aluminum acquired from Athens News after it’s done using it to print their newspapers.

Participants could either buy passion flowers designed, sculpted and painted by the Passion Works Studio artists or they could paint their own flowers, which are the same but are white and without paint on them.

Passion Works also held a raffle with tickets costing $1 per ticket and $5 for 6 tickets, which are used to win prizes like a gift basket of trinkets and a 14-inch by 11-inch painting.

More artists and student volunteers were expected to help than attended, but Passion Works was still grateful for the help that those who came provided. Some students who did come mentioned that they were aware of the event because of resident assistants’ posting flyers around their residence halls. Cardwell advocates that RAs keep taking initiative.

“We were hoping that there would be more student volunteers,” Cardwell said. “We’re looking for more opportunities to get across to students. If the RAs can keep doing that, that would be great.”

Saturday’s overall turnout was higher than Friday’s. All in all, the therapeutic art studio raised over $1,000 over the two-day span.

Passion Works’ next big event is on Oct. 10, where the studio will enter its homecoming float in the Homecoming Parade float contest.

Athena Cinema celebrates 100th year

The Athena Cinema is one of the oldest movie theaters in the nation. It opened its doors in 1915 and was restored by Ohio University in 2001. It is an integral part of Athens from a historic and entertainment standpoint.

Their mission statement reads, “Our goal as a community- based, mission-driven theater is to bring the finest premiere art house cinema to Southeastern Ohio. Today, we are a nonprofit cultural institution, dedicated
 to our mission and committed to creating a wide array of film-going experiences.”

The Athena has been celebrating its 100th year with monthly screenings of classic movies starting back in January. The screenings show how the art of movie making has evolved over the last 100 years.

All shows start at 3:00 PM and there are four more showings within the 100th Anniversary Film Series that you can’t miss!

9/26: Annie Hall (Drama/Romance 1977)

10/24: Do the Right Thing (Drama 1989)

11/21: Brokeback Mountain (Drama/Romance 2005)

12/26: The Artist (Drama/Comedy 2011)

You can check out more about the 100th Anniversary and other events or show times on their website. The Athena Cinema is an integral part of Athens and OU culture. Go out and celebrate 100 years of history with some popcorn and a good movie!